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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

justice and of correct civil action which we have established around our legislative, judicial, and executive institutions. Those guarantees, however, are not arbitrary; they are not playthings; they are institutions wrought out by centuries of experience to meet necessities which lie in the nature of men and in the relations of human society. There is no other view of the railroad problem which is more tenable than this: that the evils which have been experienced have come from a gradual breaking down by statute of the common-law obligations of common carriers, from which has resulted a removal of responsibility from the railroads at the same time that they were developing enormous power. The solution would then have lain in a just definition of the responsibility by law, acting under the normal and well-established institutions of our civil life.

An act of paternalism like this could not long remain without offshoots. This is the most definite result of the Interstate Commerce Act which has yet appeared, and if the actual legislation along the same lines has not as yet been great, nevertheless every one who watches legislation is well aware of the latest tendency in this direction, and ample experience warns us what to expect. No act of legislation of this kind stands by itself; its inevitable tendency to encourage similar projects must be taken into account as a part of it. Plans for "interstate" telegraph, sleeping-cars, etc., are already proposed, and a bill is before Congress for an "interstate" minimum rate of wages. Thus do the friends of a false movement unwittingly do us the favor to burlesque it.

As experience of the Act goes on, the inconsistency of its parts becomes more and more evident. The prohibition of pooling, the long and short haul clause, and the assumed distinction between local and through traffic